Each year as teams get eliminated from the playoffs, you see who takes care of whom in the next round and you can play that “well if those guys can’t handle THOSE guys then maybe our guys are REALLY/not SO bad,” etc.
The Panthers knocked off the record-setting Bruins, and now are up two games on the Leafs, who knocked off the semi-dynastic Lightning, so maybe the Panthers are the real kings of Florida after all!
The Devils are having a heck of a time getting anything going at all against the Hurricanes, who were pretty stressed through six games by the Islanders. So maybe the Isles, though they took till the last day to qualify, were a decent playoff— oh, it doesn’t really matter, and that’s not how it works.
But you wonder, as the Islanders brass conduct their deliberations — or maybe it’s just a few days of R&R? — within the Lou cone of silence, if those deliberations are being influenced by what they see thus far in the second round.
Islanders Listening & Reading
- Because, you see, it’s tough to tell what’s in the Isles’ future while Lou Lamoriello and ownership remain silent since the season ended a week ago. [Newsday]
- The latest Weird Islanders podcast tackles a favorite: Matt Donovan (, Bailey, and a 5th). [LHH promo]
- The ups, and downs, of Noah Dobson’s season. It began with such production, it finished with something very short of satisfaction. [Newsday]
- Prospect Report: A few are still playing in USHL (Quinn Finley with the OT series winner), CHL (Daylan Kuefler, Isaiah George) playoffs. [Isles]
- Maven’s Memories: Joe Reekie was not a Recchi nor a Ricci but he was a comedian and a tough defenseman, ultimately claimed in the Lightning’s expansion draft. [Isles]
- Yesterday in Isles History: On May 5, 1984, the Islanders completed their 19th consecutive series win. [Isles]
- Maybe Alex Romanov was acquired not only because they had a need, but also because they knew Scott Mayfield might not be kept after hitting UFA. [THN]
Still more riffing on quotes from clean-out day:
- Varlamov’s friendship with Ilya Sorokin is a big reason he wants to stay, even in a backup role. [THN]
- Mat Barzal must round out his name to become elite. [THW]
- Oliver Wahlstrom wants to evolve into a power forward. [AM NY]
Just one game last night, the Devils smoked by the Hurricanes again.
- Maybe it’s a New York NHL thing? Larry Brooks says it’s the Rangers’ silence, not the media, that’s driving speculation about Gerard Gallant’s future. [Post]
- Brady Tkachuk talks about what makes his brother Matthew pretty good. Also, he’s not publicly rooting him on at the arena like he did last postseason. [Sportsnet]
- The Oilers need Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to find another gear, like he did last postseason and most of this regular season. [Athletic]
- The Maple Leafs are displeased with Sam Bennett, which makes me pleased with Sam Bennett. Sheldon “they’re manipulating the refs” Keefe compared Bennett’s crosscheck to the one that got Auston Matthews a two-game suspension, but Bennett only got a fine from DPS. For Keefe and Dubas, let the whine flow through you, yes. [Sportsnet]
- Keefe called the Maple Leafs’ costly, cutesy Game 2 turnovers “baffling.” [Sportsnet]
- Bennett was a high pick for the Flames, but he never got the top-six opportunity he has now. [Athletic]
- Jack Adams finalists: Ruff, Hakstol and Montgomery. [NHL]
- In another Bennett incident, Matthew Knies somehow suffered a concussion. The Leafs say he’s out for the series. [NHL]
- Multiple Flames who wanted out have rescinded their trade requests now that Darryl Sutter is fired. [Score]
- Paul Maurice said he rediscovered his passion for hockey with the Panthers. [NHL]